Can You Hear What I See? Nonverbal Communication and the Changing Face of TML
Business training and education are changing. Organizations have experienced dramatic changes in their structure, competitive environment, and the demographics and demands of their employees. As a result, organizations are seeking new and innovative ways to train employees. At the same time the evolution of technology mediated learning tools (TML) has resulted in flexible, interactive, engaging, learning technology tools that promote experiential learning, analytical thinking and problem solving. Simulation based technology mediated learning (SimTML) tools are gaining popularity in practice. SimTML facilitates lifelike environments that utilize animated pedagogical agents (APAs) which employ nonverbal communication traits in their interaction with the user. The effect is a lifelike, face-to-face interaction, between the user and the APA. The result is a flexible, interactive, engaging, TML tool that promotes experiential learning, analytical thinking and problem solving. This paper explores current SimTML technology, how we interact with learning technology, and provides selection and evaluation principles for organizations to use when evaluating SimTML tools for their own training programs.